Exchange 2013

I am installing and configuring Exchange 2013 on a Dell PowerEdge T420. It has 2 x Intel Xeon CPU E5-2420 processors and 16GB of RAM. I am using ESXi VMware Hypervisor 6.0.0. for virtualizing the servers. Currently I have two Windows Server 2012 R2 servers installed. Server1 is configured as Domain Controller. Server2 will host Exchange 2013. Should I install a Domain Controller and AD on Server2 and then install Exchange 2013 on top of it, or should I just install Exchange 2013 on this second server, which would be the best practice? Each virtual server has 8GB of with 8 core CPUs.
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Adam FarageSr. Enterprise ArchitectCommented:
It is not recommended by Microsoft to install Exchange 2013 and AD on the same box, or any version of Exchange with that said. Yes, SBS did exist but the issues that came with Exchange due to domain controller permissions on the same machine caused some headaches for Exchange admins..

I would recommend creating a separate VM if you like, but as long as AD Sites and Services is setup properly you are good to go.
Jon DoeCommented:
Exchange 2013 is best installed on dedicated physical machines as suggested by Microsoft. Since now it has two roles, the CAS and the Mailbox, they're usually colocatted. I would still suggest installing exchange on a physical server for enterprise environments. DC,GC and Exchange on a single host and single VM is not recommended at all.

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MASEE Solution Guide - Technical Dept HeadCommented:
If you have 2 hardware boxes you please install Domain controller on one server and Exchange on the second.
If you dont have hardware as suggested by Adam please install as separate VMS. i.e one VM for Domain controller  and one VM for Exchange server. Lot of issues if you install Exchange and DC on the same OS.

Now a days all going for virtualization. I have done so many implementation with all VMs and running for years without issue.
If possible create an additional DC in a hardware  (doesn't need to be high-end server) to save time in case of DC failure.
Jon DoeCommented:
MAS: I would suggest answering the original question and not referring to my answer. Since you did, lets discuss. You have done many installations of Exchange on VMs with no issues. Please explain your high availability virtual deployment architecture, the Exchange server versions and the roles. We can then go from there. As far as a windows domain controllers on on virtual machines, you probably do deployments for mom and pop shops ? Even Microsoft recommends one physical DC per domain for High Availability when your DC on the host fails. As far as VMs and Exchange, I have never put the mailbox role on a VM, just the CAS, HUB. Always kept one CAS/HUB on a physical box, even in a casarray for diverting traffic for those VM hiccup times. Exchange 2013, only physical servers with both CAS/Mailbox in large deployments in a CAS array on DAC with a stretched DAG, again on physical machines.
TlingitAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the advice and feedback. This really helps.
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